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Author Topic: Ubercon Demo  (Read 4018 times)
M. J. Young
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« on: January 25, 2004, 09:51:54 PM »

Seth, I just submitted a Legends of Alyria demo event to the Ubercon events list, for Friday evening.

Let me know if there's anything you want me to have or take or tell people, and any information you can give about future availability.

Also, if anyone is going to be at Ubercon who wants to play (sorry, Luke--you're running BW at the time), feel free to sign up. This is really my first scheduled convention demo (anywhere), so I could use the moral support.

--M. J. Young

P.S.--I'll also be running Multiverser demos on Saturday, if anyone's interested.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2004, 01:07:18 PM »

Thanks, M.J.!  I appreciate the exposure.

Future availability....  Preparations for the new baby have been hindering my editing attempts; however, it is my hope to have a final product available by Spring 2004.  (Why yes, that *is* a broad, vague deadline.  ;-] )

The plan is to release the initial edition as a PDF through the good offices of Key 20.  Specifically, they will sell it through http://www.key20direct.com, which is already live and sporting several items for sale.  Final sale price is still TBA, but I'd imagine that we'd be looking between $10-$15.

As for stuff to bring, I really don't have anything ready in the way of promotional material, unless you wanted to print out a few copies of Blood of Haven to give away to those who participate in the demo.  You can also point folks to the temporary Alyria website at http://www.key20.com/alyria/ for more information.

What are you planning on running for the con?  Depending on the time slot, I'd probably recommend a scenario with pre-gens, but I'm curious what your plans are.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
M. J. Young
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2004, 09:24:25 PM »

Quote from: Seth 'GreatWolf' Ben-Ezra
What are you planning on running for the con?  Depending on the time slot, I'd probably recommend a scenario with pre-gens, but I'm curious what your plans are.
I know you do that, and I understand why, but I think it's a mistake.

One thing that made our Legends of Alyria play really grab us was that we started out by creating the characters and their relationships. From there we moved into play already excited about what what was likely to happen.

John Corradin of Days of Knights once gave me some really significant insight: whatever is the really interesting thing that happens in your game, you have to make sure that very early in demo play that happens. There are a lot of great features in Alyria, but I think that many of them spring from the story map creation, and to skip that is to weaken the presentation significantly.

Thus I'm thinking I can get a small group of players to pull together a story map inside of two hours, and I'll have the outside of two hours to get the story started, show something of how the game works, and really whet their appetite for it. I don't expect to finish the game--that would take several sessions, even on a prepared storymap, I think--but rather to get into it enough that people can see what it's about.

Make sense?

(I've scheduled a four-hour session in part because I'm sandwiched between how early can I get there and ready to play versus how late can I leave if I'm staying at my moms and have to be back the next day.)

--M. J. Young
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2004, 08:20:18 AM »

That makes a lot of sense, M.J., and I'll be curious to hear how it went.

In that case, you're going to want to have some brief summaries of setting elements on hand, plus be familiar enough with it all to answer questions.  For example, you may want to have a single sheet with a couple of lines dedicated to explaining each element to a prospective player.  For example:

The Citadel:  large technological city on the shores of the Sea of Mist.  Ruled by council of five High Lords.  Home of Keeper Temple.  Populated with humans and Restored.  Connected to the Web.  Visuals:  Blade Runner, Midgard from Final Fantasy VII, Thief: The Dark Project.

Obviously, I can't guarantee that these shorthands will communicate to everyone, but hopefully they will connect with someone.

The idea of including setting summary handouts in the game is something that has wandered around in my head for a while, but I haven't ever gotten around to doing it.  So I can't send you anything to cover this.  Sorry.

You may also want to consider narrowing the setting for the purpose of the demo.  Two hours isn't a whole lot of time for storymap creation, and you don't want to overwhelm your players.  If nothing else, you may want to have some specifics in mind to kick off the demo and provide some direction for the players.  Obviously, if they have better ideas, then scrap what you have.  However, I think that being prepared for a tableful of blank looks would be wise.

BTW, do you have the final character sheet?  It was done by Ben Morgan and is much prettier than the plain one that I was using before.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
GreatWolf
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2004, 09:40:16 AM »

By the way, I'd love to hear from anyone else out there who has thoughts about a good way to structure an Alyria con demo.  I'm not going to sit here and say that I am the world's expert on demoing, and I'd appreciate any insights that others may have to offer.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2004, 11:04:53 AM »

I like the "shorthand" idea. Frankly, I get as much ability to play from that paragraph you posted as I do from reading the pertinent stories. That's not a slam on your writing abilities. Just that, where genre is concerned, often shorthand is easier that distilling an aesthetic from a narrative.

Certainly is in my case, but I may not be typical that way. In any case, I think that these would do just fine for con play. Especially since the GM is already familiar, and can fill in the blanks if need be.

Mike
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2004, 11:24:27 PM »

Quote from: Seth
That makes a lot of sense, M.J., and I'll be curious to hear how it went.

Yeah, I'm a month away and already panicking about all the things I need to have ready by then.
Quote from: He also
]BTW, do you have the final character sheet?  It was done by Ben Morgan and is much prettier than the plain one that I was using before.

I vaguely recall that you were going to add something I mentioned at some time, so I think I don't. How can I get this? You have my e-mail, if that's convenient.

Thanks.

--M. J. Young
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2004, 01:17:41 AM »

Sorry--haven't heard anything, and am concerned that one of us missed something somewhere. How do I get the updated character sheet? It may be that I was mistaken about you having a current address for me; the valdron and multiverser servers are down indefinitely, so it would have to go to one of the mjyoung.net boxes or one of my various other personal boxes--unless this is an available download?

--M. J. Young
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2004, 07:30:36 AM »

Oops!  Sorry.  Lost track of this request with the new baby.  I'll be in contact with you.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
M. J. Young
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Posts: 2198


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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2004, 11:03:16 PM »

I'm afraid there is a less than happy ending to this tale. The demo never happened, despite my sometimes frantic preparations for it.

There were three names signed up for it; however, one of these was some clown who decided to mess with Ubercon's rather relaxed sign-up system by signing up for every event at the con (it was not clear when I left whether he had attended any of them). Then on Friday evening every major road around New York clogged. We were cutting it close by then anyway, and when the accident on the Turnpike meant we weren't going to make it before the scheduled 7:00 start of the game, we called the hotel and left word with the con that we would start the game as soon as we arrived, which would depend on traffic.

We were there by 7:30, but there were no players waiting at that time. Whether they were still caught in traffic somewhere or had decided not to wait for us no one ever determined. We waited until it was near ten, and then packed up in the hope of getting an extra hour of sleep before running our Sunday morning Multiverser game.

The rest of the convention actually went very well. I feel bad about the failure at this juncture.

Sorry about that. In any event, thanks for the support and encouragement, and next time perhaps we'll figure out how to make it work more smoothly.

--M. J. Young
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2004, 07:15:39 AM »

Ah well.  Such is life.  If nothing else, we can point to these threads as material for anyone who would like to run a convention demo of Alyria.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
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